How do you spend most of your online time? According to media analytics company comScore, it’s probably using a phone app. Recently released research has shown that as of July, applications make up 50 percent of the time Americans spend online – a new milestone for smartphones.
"While the smartphone app has been the most important access vehicle to the internet for some time, growing its share to a point where it now eclipses all other digital media platforms combined speaks to just how central to our lives the smartphone has become," comScore wrote on its blog post.
The share of time people spend on smartphone apps has been increasing over the years. In 2014 it was 41 percent, while last year it was 44 percent. Now, apps are ahead of desktops (32 percent), tablets (11 percent), and mobile web browsers (7 percent).
What are the reasons behind the increasing popularity of smartphone apps? ComScore say their convenience, larger phone screens, and faster 4G LTE network speeds are some of the main factors.
The high usage of smartphone apps compared to other media touchpoints shouldn’t come as much of a shock when you think about your daily online behavior. Chances are when you want to know what’s happening around the world, or in pop culture, or in your friends’ lives, your first move is to reach into your pocket and open one of the number of different social apps on your phone. And unless you already happen to be sitting at a computer, a smartphone app is probably your first option when you decide to listen to music, get directions to a destination, check the weather or catch up on email. The convenience factor is simply too powerful.
ComScore claims that apps’ "share of digital" is likely to keep growing beyond the 50 percent mark, but desktops and tablets will continue to play an important role for consumers as they perform some tasks better than smartphones.
As for the current most popular apps, Facebook continues to dominate with its social media and Messenger applications leading the pack. In order, here are the top fifteen applications people spend the most time using: Facebook, Messenger, YouTube, Google Maps, Google Search, Google Play, Gmail, Pandora, Instagram, Amazon mobile, Apple Music, Apple Maps, Pokémon Go, Snapchat, and Pinterest.